Housing benefit bill rises to nearly £20 billion

#1
The Government estimates it will pay out £19.6 billion in housing benefit during the 2009/10 financial year, according to figures slipped out on the Department for Work and Pensions' (DWP) website.

The year-on-year rise, of almost 15 per cent, is the steepest for more than 15 years. In 2010/11 the bill is expected to rise still further, to £20.8 billion.

The leap in handouts will add to pressure on Alistair Darling, the Chancellor, as he attempts to rein in public spending across the board. It comes after the Government promised last month to crack down on excessive housing benefit claims.

Despite repeated pledges by politicians to overhaul Britain's welfare system, the DWP expects its total benefit expenditure to climb to almost £150 billion this year – the combined cost of the education, defence and transport budgets – as more people become unemployed and start to claim.

Theresa May, the shadow work and pensions secretary, said: "Labour's failure over the past decade to take the tough decisions on welfare reform is coming back to haunt them.

"Housing benefit can provide valuable help to people in work or pensioners, but the reality is that these figures are symptomatic of a wider trend of benefit dependency. It is simply unacceptable that the taxpayer is left to foot the bill for Labour's decade of incompetence."

Earlier this year The Sunday Telegraph revealed that housing benefits were paying for an unnamed family to live in a seven-bedroom home at a cost to taxpayers of £147,000 a year, while 550 families were receiving more than £30,000 annually in housing handouts.

Last year James Purnell, then the work and pensions secretary, promised an overhaul of the housing benefit system after it emerged that Toorpakai Saiedi, a single mother of seven from Afghanistan, was living with her children in a privately-rented, seven-bedroom, £1.2 million house in west London with her rent of £12,458 a month paid by taxpayers.

In another case a Somalia-born couple and their eight children were paid £1,600 a week in housing benefit to live in £1.8 million London mansion.

And last month it emerged that single mother-of-eight Francesca Walker is living in a five-bedroom, £2.6 million home, again in London, where she receives more than £90,000 a year in housing allowance.

The Government is now planning to launch a consultation on proposals which it hopes will limit the number of people claiming for high-end rents.

The proposals include barring the top five to 10 per cent of rents, or banning claims from the most exclusive areas, such as London's Canary Wharf.

But critics say that the Government still needs to do much more to get tough on large housing benefit payments.

Susie Squire, the political director of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "The welfare state is undoubtedly broken and in many areas is simply not fit for purpose, and nowhere is this more evident than with housing benefit.

"Despite repeated high profile examples of benefit claimants living in accommodation that is unaffordable, and repeated pledges from the Government to reform the system, nothing has been done.

"The situation is unsustainable, taxpayers cannot be expected to simply keep paying more and more to fund a faulty system.

"We need to see root and branch reform of the way we distribute housing benefit, so that we make sure vulnerable people are getting the help they need, unscrupulous landlords are not allowed to milk the system, and taxpayers get value for money for the billions they pay in good faith."

Housing benefit is a means-tested handout which supports people who are unemployed or in low-paid jobs, together with their families, to live in accommodation rented from a council, housing association or private landlord. It is administered by local authorities but the money comes from central government.

Nationwide 17 per cent of households receive some form of housing benefit, but in areas of London the figure reaches more than 40 per cent.

A DWP spokesman said this year's housing benefit bill was still provisional and could fall if the economic climate improved.

He added: "Any responsible organisation will estimate future spend based on a range of different scenarios to allow for flexibility. During a recession more people might need the important support provided by housing benefit and it is absolutely right that we budget for this."


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/...-benefit-bill-rises-to-nearly-20-billion.html

I'm sorry but 20 billion is taking the severe piss! The examples of dirty single mothers with 8 kids living in some of the best parts of London is beyond belief. :evil:
 
#4
CQMS said:
Astounding, how many more outrage press links are you going to post.
And to be fair thats a pretty relevant story at a time when the country's in recession, we're at war in afghan, the forces are strapped for cash and the governments paying out housing benefits that is over half the defence budget!
 
#7
The government's been paying more in benefits than it raises in income taxes for quite a while. The country's got a few people with serious problems and lots of workshy skiveshites sponging off the state, tell us something we don't know.
 
#8
Yeh please. The story needs to involve us the taxpayers paying out stupid amounts of money! I can only start frothing at the mount when i hear the words "billions" and "undeserving, thieving chav scum benefit whores"!

thank you and good night!
 
#9
Karl_uk said:
CQMS said:
Astounding, how many more outrage press links are you going to post.
And to be fair thats a pretty relevant story at a time when the country's in recession, we're at war in afghan, the forces are strapped for cash and the governments paying out housing benefits that is over half the defence budget!
Well, if you find it that outrageous you could always do what so many others already have - invest in cheap houses for sale (the sort locals in lots of areas might hope to afford) as buy-to-let and charge the sort of rents that make that HB bill neccessary :roll:
 

rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#10
spunkymonkey said:
Karl_uk said:
CQMS said:
Astounding, how many more outrage press links are you going to post.
And to be fair thats a pretty relevant story at a time when the country's in recession, we're at war in afghan, the forces are strapped for cash and the governments paying out housing benefits that is over half the defence budget!
Well, if you find it that outrageous you could always do what so many others already have - invest in cheap houses for sale (the sort locals in lots of areas might hope to afford) as buy-to-let and charge the sort of rents that make that HB bill neccessary :roll:
Don't be ridiculous how am I supposed to make a decent return on my outlay? Those holidays don't pay for themselves :roll:
 
#13
I too have noticed the increasing left-leaning propensity of Fallschirmjager's postings :D
 
#14
Fallschirmjager said:
We need to kill at least a third of the population.
Start with the youngest third - that way we old 'uns can enjoy a bigger generation gap.
 
#16
JJ_Wrinkly_Old_Git said:
Fallschirmjager said:
We need to kill at least a third of the population.
Start with the youngest third - that way we old 'uns can enjoy a bigger generation gap.
No! No! No!
Spare the young nubile females. They may be distressed by the loss of their boyfriends but we will attempt to comfort them and make up for the loss. It would be the kind thing to do.

By the way, when fueling the outrage bus perhaps the trip could be 2 for 1. I read an article today in the Sun saying that the NHS spends nearly GBP 3 billion per year caring for drunks. Check out "New Years Heave" even if you don't read the article look at the piccies.
 
#17
CQMS said:
Astounding, how many more outrage press links are you going to post.
What's your point? The 'outrage police' who pop up on threads like this remind me of the smug types who scoffed and denounced as 'sensationalism' the possibility of war during the 1930's.

It's been done to death, but that's because it's a major ongoing issue.
 
#18
Only a matter of time before Sven pops up to say it is all due to Maggie selling off all the council houses. If only we had built more slum estates we wouldn't be in such a pickle!
 
#19
I can't wait to leave the Army and move in to my state paid for mansion.
 
#20
Herrumph said:
Only a matter of time before Sven pops up to say it is all due to Maggie selling off all the council houses. If only we had built more slum estates we wouldn't be in such a pickle!
I'm not Sven but I'll try.

Councils were forbidden by law from using the proceeds of "right to buy" to puchase of build more housing stock.

No goverment since then has invested in new housing stock, Tory or Labour, hence we have a shortage and have to house poeple elsewhere.

A pox on both parties!
 

New Posts

Latest Threads